Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One of those days

I know the day is far from over. But so far it's been one of those days. Not one of those days... but the good kind! I find myself most often sharing when the kids are frustrating me, driving me to tears, leading me to question being a stay at home mom. I figured a good day deserved as much attention!

Most of our days, one of them - Catherine or Ella - ends up being in a mood about something, having a tantrum, whining, getting hurt, not getting their way - and so on and so on. So while one is happy and playing nicely, the other is not. I find this to be the case most often - not all day long or even most of the day - but when they have meltdowns, it's usually not at the same time. Thank you Lord for that. But then there are the dreaded days when both are upset and crying and whining for an extended period of time at the same time. I had a day like that a few weeks ago and when Matt called to ask a question I just started crying. The kids were both crying and yelling about something and I just wanted to get dressed without someone pulling on my leg. He came home 20 minutes later - I was already going out to get a haircut so it was on the schedule, but he knew I needed a break was able to give me 20-30 minutes to compose myself before I had to go. Honestly - I thank God every day that not only is Matt able to do that, but he does it willingly. I try my best to make sure Catherine and Ella know what a wonderful father they have.

Ok, back on track here....
Today was one of those rare days when both children were happy and content (I think it's hard for a 1 year old who doesn't talk and is always wanting what her sister has to be content for too long) - not just for a little bit but from morning until naptime. To me that is amazing! Throw in a 2 1/2 hour trip to Ikea and I call it a miracle! I wasn't sure if I wanted to take both of them because when we go as a family it usually ends up with Ella running away from us in the Marketplace and then screaming because she wants another treat (sticky bun, ice cream cone - you name it, darn you Ikea for having pictures of everything so there is no mistake that you sell ice cream cones). That leads to revoking her TV time and then she is upset the entire car ride home. But before the meltdown, she loves playing in the ball pit and running around in the children's rooms and playing with the toys. Of course Catherine loves everything her sister loves so Ikea is really a great place for us to go.

Today the three of us walked- no cart, no stroller - all through Ikea, played, visited the bathroom via the baby care room (Ikea is so family friendly despite having tempting pictures of food and toys all over the place) ate lunch and perused the Marketplace all without a tantrum, without me yelling, without any tears and with lots of smiles. The Marketplace is the most dangerous part for us because 1. everyone is worn out by then 2. it's very easy for Ella to run off and get lost 3. it's very easy for me to get lost in the maze of glasses, rugs, candles, you name it..., and 4. the carts are so darn hard to operate -every time we go around a turn I have to practically run to the other side of the cart to avoid knocking over a display of some sort (can I get an AMEN on that - can anyone relate to how frustrating those carts are? I feel like I'm pushing the cart on ice). Today Ella decided, for I swear the 1st time since she could walk, that she wanted to ride in the cart and stayed there peacefully while I searched for and found the very random and specific piece of hardware we need to hang curtains, waited in a long line and finally made our way to the car. Catherine was starting to lose her patience by the end of the trip, but even that wasn't too bad.

For some reason Ella decided she wanted to watch her Thomas the Train DVD - she hasn't watched that in months. Of course when we got home I couldn't find it anywhere. For someone like Ella, little things like that tend to be her undoing. But in keeping with our day of happiness she agreed to watch Diego without fussing. And then they both napped, giving me the chance to accomplish all the important things I had to do today - like write this post!

So that's it. Just had to share that there are days that I love being a mom and often times I don't slow down enough to realize it. Thanks for listening...

edited to say....sorry for the all the typos and errors - I know it must have been painful to read! I tried to fix some that stood out but I'm sure there are plenty more....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Fun

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate - you know I'm not sure I've ever had egg nog. I'm sure I have but I really don't remember when - I am just pretty sure I don't like it.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? I haven't had much luck with the Santa thing with Ella thus far- she's a bit scared of him so we don't talk alot about Santa. She's getting a bike and we won't wrap that so I guess that will be from Santa. If she's not into Santa I won't force it - I guess this year will be telling.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White on the tree and house
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Don't have any
5. When do you put your decorations up? the sooner the better, but it's usually a process that begins after Thanksgiving.

6. Favorite dish? Our Christmas dinner was never real traditional for some reason. Every year my mom does something different so I don't have a favorite. But we always have the same thing for Christmas morning brunch - and my favorite is this yummy homemade cranberry coffee cake.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child. I really can't pinpoint one moment. I remember waiting at the top of the steps every year with my brothers until we were allowed to come downstairs. It was such an exciting moment to come around the corner and see the stacks of gifts and have the tree all lit up and the Christmas music playing (same song every year, my fam was big on tradition!). That overall experience is a favorite memory.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Don't remember. I think I played along for awhile because I like the idea of him more than I actually believed.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Currently - no. But growing up I exchanged gifts with my brothers. Even now when my family celebrates Christmas together the siblings and spouses exchange gifts the night before our "family Christmas".
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? white lights, gold and deep red balls along with tons of ornaments I had growing up and then the wedding and baby ornaments we've collected over the years. I still have my baby's first Christmas ornaments!
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love the idea of it - it seems so fun to be snowbound. But practically speaking it's not very fun trying to get kids into the car without standing in piles of snow. Also, the Philly area is not really good with snow removal and driving in it. So I've become a nervous snow driver. All through high school and college I never thought twice about driving in snow storm. Of course I lived in central PA and went to school in Western PA. People didn't freak out about snow as much as they do here.
12. Can you ice skate? yes, but hardly ever get a chance to. If I could pick one snow sport it would be snowboarding - haven't been able to do that since I had Ella.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I got a hope chest when I was a senior in college. Right before (weeks, not minutes) I got engaged. Pretty cool.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? family and food, getting to give the gifts I bought people and getting Christmas cards and updates from friends and family.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I love my mom's Christmas cookies.
16. What tops your tree? Angel (from Target, nothing sentimental)

17. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
18. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? I guess yum - not super passionate either way.
I thought this was a fun holiday version of the email that gets sent around so often. It's always fun to share Christmas memories and traditions.....so (since this is the way I happened upon this one) ...if you're a blogger, consider yourself TAGGED and you're obligated (not really, it's just fun to do - I want to read your answers.) to copy this to your blog for your readers to play along!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

To Run or not to Run

Which month of the year do think would be the worst time to start a new exercise regime? I'm betting you all answered emphatically and without having to give it alot of thought - December! I'm not sure why I decided to get back on the ball with exercising - I never really stopped, I just wasn't making it a priority - running once or twice a week. So of course I feel inspired to start working out five days a week two weeks ago. That is in the midst of all the baking and cooking and shopping and parties that make up the month of December. Not only is it a month with lots of temptations that make you feel like exercise is pointless, but there just is not alot of time. I've made it through two weeks and often I find myself excercising at 8:30 or 9:00 at night after the kids are asleep. I really don't want to. Take tonight for instance. We had a long weekend. My parents were in town for a few days and there was lots of shopping and running around. Saturday was Ella's little birthday party (I did squeak out some time to run in the afternoon) and then tonight we hosted a group from church at our home. I haven't been sleeping well lately (and Ella has randomly decided to come visit us in bed at night - anyone with experience with this - kind of frustrating) so I was tired this afternoon. I had a hard time staying awake during a very good sermon at church today. I just wanted to lay on the couch all afternoon and watch football in a daze. Of course that doesn't happen - Ella decides not to nap, I realize that the giant frozen lasagna I am planning on serving needs two hours to cook - and it's less than two hours until people will be arriving, and I remember that we never fully cleaned up from Ella's part the night before. So I got about a half hour of relaxing and alot of busyness. Fast forward to 8:15. The kids are in bed, the kitchen is clean - at this point all I have to do is run. Because if I don't run tonight I will have to exercise five days in a row and I like to take a break in the middle of the week. So I got on the computer and checked my email and fantasy football leagues. I played a game of free cell. A half hour later I trudged downstairs and watched a bit of the Sunday night football game with Matt until I finally got myself on the treadmill.

I'm not writing this to make myself look like this great and dedicated exerciser. I'm not. I have to exercise because I like to eat. Also I spend so much time complaining about how I look that I figure I need to do something about it. In January I am going to do something about the eating habits. I like the way I feel when I work out. I like the feeling after a good work out and the way my muscles feel. But I don't particularly enjoy the act of excercising. I really have to convince myself to run - and sometimes two minutes into I want to quit. On Tuesday nights I do a "bootcamp" video with a bunch of friends and even though I enjoy it I anticipate how I'll feel in the middle of a million squats and fun stuff like that I don't want to do it. Even when I was playing sports in high school and college and was in pretty good shape I really hated the conditioning runs. So what I wonder - does it ever get easier? I've always wondered if I exercised regularly long enough - would I become one of those people who loves to exercise and enjoys it so much that they can't imagine their day without a good 5 mile jog. Or when they are stressed they just to unwind with a run. I read about people like that in novels and I even know some. But not me. When I'm stressed I want to lay on the couch. Sure I feel good about running but if someone came up with way to bypass exercise to get that feeling I would be all for it.

For everyone who checks in with blog I would love some feedback. Are you a current excerciser who loves it or one who grins and bears it? If you love it, have you always or did it grow on you (basically are some of us always going to hate working out or is their hope?)? Also for those of you lapsed exercisers - why and for how long - do you ever plan to start again? And, for those of you who never work out and don't plan it - are you just super disciplined eaters? I have more luck doing the exercise thing than I do that the diet thing. My failed attempts at that are a whole other post. For now I would to hear from you!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ella turns three!

Some pictures of the birthday girl - more below.....

The birthday girl at Chuck-E-Cheese

Catherine hanging with Barney

Matt was having alot of fun jet skiing. I think we need to come back on his birthday!

Ella had fun attempting to play air hockey with Kelly and Mackenzie

So today is Ella' birthday. She turned three. For the longest time I couldn't believe she was actually going to be three, but we've been anticipating this for so long that I'm pretty used to the idea. How do I describe Ella? It really depends on the day and her mood. That in itself should tell you something! She is highly emotional - whether happy, sad or mad - there is no mistaking how she feels. She is also very sociable. She loves to play and have people to play with. She's at an age where she'll go to someone's house and go off and play and I won't hear from her unless there's a problem. Ella also loves to interact with adults - she knows all my friend's names and loves the attention that she gets from them. She is full of love - she hugs me and tells me she loves me. Catherine also gets lots of hugs and kisses from Ella. In fact, Ella is very free with the hugs. I love the feeling of her little arms wrapped around my neck - not wanting to let go. She loves to cook. Helping me make breakfast is a must for her - whether cracking the eggs, pouring the milk, she is quick to inform me "I don't need you." In fact that is something we hear pretty frequently in regards to all areas of Ella's life. She loves to do everything on her own - except of course when I'm trying to get something done. She loves imaginary play and I often hear her talking to herself and her babies (anything from an actual baby doll or stuffed animal to her Little People). She loves to sing - if she is in a good mood she spends alot of time in the car singing. It's highly entertaining because it's usually to the tune of one of her favorite songs (Away in the Manger) but with her own lyrics -which are based on recent events in her life. I'm sure you can imagine! She loves to dance, she loves to draw, she loves to read. She loves her tv shows - so much so that we have to limit it greatly. I think the current favorite is Diego. She's taken to using some of the Spanish phrases she hears on the show in her every day conversation - in the correct context of course! She loves her special blankie and doggie. She loves macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets and pancakes.

Those are the things that Ella loves - there are a lot of them. But there are many things she doesn't like. Most of the food I make, for instance. Not getting her own way is a biggie. Ella doesn't take anything lightly and little insignificant frustrations or issues become monumental with her. Not being able to have pancakes for breakfast for the third day in a row has the potential to really put a damper in our day. As does attempting to brush her hair. Or not having the right socks on. Or me not being able to wrap her up in a blanket the exact way that she wants. You catch my drift....I'm hoping it's just a stage that she'll grow out of. But from what I hear the three's are rougher than the two's. If so, I don't know if I'll make it! Overall she is a sweet, tenderhearted little girl who is also stubborn and strong willed. I think she gets the sweetness and tenderhearted qualities from me...I'm not sure about the stubborness and strong will.....? Just kidding! :)

For her birthday we took her to Chuck-E-Cheese - it was her first time and she had alot of fun. Of course getting there was tough. I prepared her that there would be a big mouse there (remember her fear of "characters"?). Not sure why I thought that would help things. After that was very much against going there so we told her we would go to another pizza place with games. I know, I know, not good to lie. The whole way there she would randomly say "I don't want to see the big mouse" and I would reassure her that we wouldn't. So we pulled up into the parking lot and she gasped "mom, this is Chuckecheesus!! (that's the way she would say it, almost sounded like ChuckeJesus)" How did she know? I think the giant mouse on the sign out front must have gave it away - I was suprised she put it together that quickly! We made it in without incident when I explained the the mouse was just like Mickey Mouse and that really made everything alright. So we spent a few fun hours playing and eating and of course not wanting to come home at the end. We're having a little party for her on Saturday - alot of her friends that she likes to play with can't come (that's what I get for not planning too far in advance and doing it the second weekend in Dec.). I feel a bit sad for her since this the first year that's she's been anticipating a party (or I probably would have just had a small family party). But I think presents and cake will make everything okay!

Thanks for taking the time to read my long tribute to Ella. For those that know her, know that she is a special little girl. I can't believe it's been three years!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas Baking....

That's right, I've started my Christmas baking already. My mom always makes a variety of cookies at Christmas and gives them to neighbors, friends, etc...It's something I want to do and try to do - on a much smaller scale. But if I'm going to I need to get a good head start on the craziness of the holidays. So yesterday I made the dough for two different cookies and today I made my first batch of Christmas cookies. Of course my house, isn't clean, but a girl can only do so much!

These cookies are so good I had to share the recipe with them. I don't think the picture does them justice, but they consist of a yummy chocolate dough wrapped around an oh-so-irresistible Rollo lightly dipped in a chopped pecan sugar mixture (hence the white flaky things on top).

Caramel filled Chocolate Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 c. unsweetended cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
48 Rolo caramels (how can you resist cookies with Rolos in them?)

1 T sugar
Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda -mix well. In large beat sugar, brown sugar, and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. Add flour mixture; blend well. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans (I don't add them because Matt and I don't like nuts in cookies).
Allow dough to chill. For each cookie, with floured hands, (oops forgot that part) shape about 1 Tbsp of dough around caramel candy, covering completely.

In a small combine remaining 1/2 cup pecans and 1 T sugar. Press one side of each cookie into the pecan mixture and place, nut side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until set and slightly cracked.Cool 2 minutes, remove from cookie sheets and cool completely.

I first made them many years ago after a coworker of mine brought them into work. They were so good, and knowing that Matt loves anything caramel, I had to make them. But there was something in the directions that I added in bold that wasn't on the original recipe - Allow dough to chill. I didn't do this and basically spent an hour trying to make a dozen cookies - I had to scrape the dough off my hands it wouldn't stick to the caramel(I also used Kraft caramels and not Rolos, big mistake). It was so frustrating that I ended up throwing away half the dough. Gasp! So chilling the dough is an important part. Ok, sorry I have to make everything into a story. Again, I'll leave you with one final thing. Ella decided not to nap and therefore was helping me with the cookies. Her job was unwrapping the rolos and the she had to keep reaching to the back of the counter....

Is that not the cutest butt ever! Definite blackmail picture.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Back again

Oh man, it's been awhile since I've added a new post here. It's like when you have a friend that you want to call and catch up with and as time passes you have more and more to catch up on so you can't just make a quick call, but you need to find time to really talk and you keep putting it off until you find that perfect time. That how I feel when I blog. I'm catching up with friends and sharing my life so when I disappear for a few weeks it's hard to get started again because there's so much to say. We've had a busy few weeks. Lots of stuff that if I had the time or energy (the energy is key, because technically I had time) to share about while it was happening I would have been posting alot. Nothing life changing, just some funny kids stories that I've now forgotten, a really good conference that Matt and I attended (I just might post about that because I'm still processing it), some great episodes of my favorite tv shows (The Office and Grey's Anatomy were both great this week!) and questions about controlling the tantrums of a two year old.

I figured I just needed to put something out there- to break the ice, make the call. I'm recovering from a long weekend - we drove to Baltimore and back Saturday night. Matt and I went down for a surprise birthday party for his dad. It didn't start until 7pm so after driving in the dark for two hours I was tired when I got there. I was barely functioning on the drive home but forced myself to stay awake for Matt's sake (I know, you're thinking - how nice, but really I don't want to fall asleep and then have us wreck and die because he fell asleep too).

Matt isn't one for conversation in the car, he gets in a zone and drives. That's something we've worked through over the years because I like to talk. But he knows when we're driving late at night if he wants me to stay awak we have to talk. So last night we passed the time by talking about our Christmas wish lists as well as the kids. It's always a fun thing to do this time of year because both of our families ask for lists. I've had fun making a list for Ella. Half of it are things she tells me she wants (a broom, a guitar, a babydoll, a motorized car) and half of it are things I've decided she wants (Play Wonder kitchen and store from Target, a desk to draw and color at, dress up stuff). I remember getting excited as a kid to get the JC Penney or ToysRus Christmas catalogs to look through all the toys - I feel the same way now. I probably won't buy them that much but it's fun to try and find the best deal.

What do your kids want for Christmas? What are they getting? What do you want? Do you and your husband exchange Chistmas gifts? Matt and I say we don't (we just bought new windows for our entire upstairs, that's a Christmas gift in my mind) but he'll still buy me something so I'll get him something. We both love to give gifts and pick out things for people that we love. At this point we both buy for everyone in both of our families. It's always tight on the purse strings, but we don't buy birthday or anniversay gifts so this is the one time of year that I get to pick out clothing for my brothers (just kidding Mike, I wouldn't dare buy you clothes when you get them from my husband for free) or something fun for my sister in laws. How does your family do the gift thing? Name exchange, buy for the kids only, buy for everyone, only for your immediate family? I'd love to hear from you...

One last thing to leave you with. Tonight Ella was watching the Little Einsteins. They were on a mission to the pyramids in Egypt and they had to find the Great Sphinx. One of the characters asked us out in TV land if we could say "the Great Sphinx" - Ella of course tried her hardest and repeated "the Great Stinks" That was definitely my laugh for the night!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween fun (con.)

Here are some pictures I tried to post withthe previous post. Sometimes Blogger just hates me. I always seem to have trouble with pictures and finding a format that I like. Half the time they don't show up after saying they've been uploaded. Much frustration. Anyway - above is Indian Princess Ella with lollipop. The one with all three of us isn't very good but it's the best we got. I wanted it to be Matt with them but Catherine won't sit still with him as long as I'm around - we tried it and she was just a black and red blur. All and all it was a nice Halloween. The weather was great - no need for creative bundling up - our neighborhood is small and we get a chance to talk to people we rarely see all year. Our night came to a sad end when Ella, while visiting friends a few minutes away, actually saw someone in a scary mask and was frightened to the point of trembling and begging to go home. I was surprised we made it that long!

Halloween fun

Here are the deMontaigne pumpkins. A bit blurry of a shot because it was hard to hold my camera still to get a night shot with both kids climbing on me!

My chunky monkey Catherine was a lady bug. I was suprised that she didn't complain at all about having the little hat thingy on - maybe that will become her winter hat because I've never had luck getting her to keep anything on her head!

She had a lot of fun grabbing candy out of the bowl and putting it in her pumpkin. The nice thing about this age is that they enjoy the moment while it lasts, but forget about it the next morning. Which means, no candy battles. Not so with Ella. She beat me downstairs the

next morning and was already into a lollipop.
That's why I don't have the greatest shots of Ella. She got into our candy bowl and snagged a lollipop. I had a hard time getting it out of her mouth for pictures. Ella was an Indian Princess. I know, I know - it's not very politically correctI guess we could have called her Pocohontas or a Native American. But then she wouldn't have been able to say she was a princess. Plus, it's only one day - I doubt she'll go around talking about being an Indian Princess (again I don't think it's a big deal, but I did have people correct me and say - you mean, a Native American Princess - perhaps in jest, but who knows). But, of course I'm wrong. Last night we was playing with her friend, a little boy her age who had dressed up as Spiderman for Halloween. They were running around and jumping off the couches (which I allow as long as they aren't jumping on Catherine- I tend to like high energy play) and her friend would yell - "I'm spiderman" - and take a flying leap. Ella of course, not to be outdone would yell "I'm Indian Princess"! I tried to convince her she could be wonder woman or cat woman but she was intent on being Ella the Indian Princess. So she made up a new super hero. Not sure what her super power is. Any thoughts? I don't think we'll make it on "Who wants to be a Superhero" with that one.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Flyin' Away

Ok, I have problems with inappropriate laughter. I tend to laugh at things that would be funny if you watched them in a movie, but aren't funny when they are happening to you or a friend in real life. I've laughed in pretty much every unacceptable situation - not because I'm so overcome with emotion and it just emerges as laughter. No, it's because usually in the middle of some type of nonfunny event something strikes me as funny. Maybe it wouldn't be that funny normally, but when you aren't supposed to laugh, or perhaps it's something that is a bit off color and you don't want people to realize that your mind is in the gutter (happens more often to me than I'd like to admit) - that is when I tend towards uncontrollable laughter. I'm talking tears in the eyes laughter. I would share some of those stories but it would take too long and I think they are usually better told in person.

I brought this up because of a little incident today that had me thinking - "what kind of mom am I to laugh at that?" I didn't think about it for too long because Matt was laughing as well and together we both can't be that bad! Actually just picturing it makes me start laughing again. Just a warning - like I said before, funny stories are usually funnier when told in person and I am not that good of a writer to do it justice - but I'll try. Set the bar low....

As we left church today Ella was clutching her precious bag of pretzels that she got after much begging and pleading from the vending machine (we meet in a YMCA and have to deal with the temptations offered in the vending machines outside our worship room). We were late to church so our car was parked pretty far away and Ella was walking along behind Matt and Catherine and I was about 20 feet behind them. Ella tripped on a speed bump and fell (no I didn't laugh at that - what kind of person do you think I am!?). She started to cry - understandably. The pretzels fell on the ground - not sure if which fall, the pretzels or hers, made her cry more. Matt stopped to help her and I tried to catch up. A big gust of wind (I'm talking big...) swept up and the pretzels and the bag start flying everywhere. This upset Ella more so she got up and started running after them. I was impressed and in that split second I thought "wow, Ella is running fast!". What I didn't realize until a second later was that, no Ella did not develop lightening fast speed, but the wind was so strong and so fast that it was making her practically fly - right into the side of a car about 8 feet in front of her. There it is. I laughed to the point of tears because my daughter ran/flew into a car. It was one of the times I wish I had a video camera somehow permamentally connected to my eyes. Ella was completely fine - upset about the pretzels and wanting the wind to go away, but she wasn't scarred by her parents' laughter.

Anyone else have the tendency to laugh when you shouldn't? Willing to share? Post it on your blog or leave a comment - we all need some laughs on a Monday morning!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Carvers

Tonight we had some good quality family time. We've had a busy week so I thought it would be nice to have a relaxing evening at home. Dinner, not takeout or leftovers or PB&J, but something I had actually cooked tonight. Of course that was just for Matt and me, the kids just ate chicken nuggets! After dinner we carved pumpkins and baked Halloween cookies. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? What it looked like was this....

Ella was so worked up she couldn't sit still during dinner. She galloped back and forth between the kitchen and the family room all excited about a project that her and Matt had been working on earlier. I was barely able to get her to sit and eat. Catherine was fine, she decided she liked ketchup and spent most of the meal dipping and licking - probably a ratio of 10 dips to one nugget. After Ella shoved a few nuggets in her mouth we went outside to "pick" her pumpkin out of the four lined up on the porch. Of course, she wanted the biggest one. Matt was a little sad because he wanted the biggest one. But he agreed to share it with her. So we got all set up at the kitchen table and after cutting the top off, prepared to scoop. I had the video camera going to catch Ella's first time cleaning out a pumpkin. It was eventful. I think she touched one seed. We were able to get her to put her hand in the pumpkin to find a piece of candy we hid. Then she wanted to use a spoon - she said the pumpkin was yucky and cold. I don't know where she gets that. I am not a wuss around her. I regularly kill the dreaded stink bugs that prowl around her room without flinching (me, not the bugs - I imagine they might flinch a bit when I squash them) and only freak out when one lands on me (who wouldn't?). I clean up the gross messes that inevitably come with having young kids. Matt actually does all of the above and deals with the worst of the worst (no need to mention). But for some reason Ella can't help scoop out a pumpkin - too icky for her.

That pretty much ended her pumpkin experience. The next 1/2 hour or so was Matt trying to carve the pumpkin while I was trying to distract Ella by involving her in cookie making. The cookie making which was peeling the pre-cut cookie dough off the little sheet of dough and plopping it on a baking sheet. I thought something that easy would be doable with Ella - but I didn't count on Catherine hanging on me, trying to poke her head through my knees and waiting until I look down at her and say "hello!!!" (she laughs hysterically at this) - it made the whole balance thing a bit more difficult. So our family night ended up being different than I thought. I'm not sure why I thought cookies and pumpkin carving would be great activities to a 3 year old and one year old.

Oh, and after Matt carved his pumpkin and wasn't happy with the results, I decided to give it a try. It's been years since I've carved a pumpkin and started to regret my design after a bit, but it worked Tonight I'll get a picture of both pumpkins and you can guess who did which one and which one is better!

Update: I didn't get a chance to post this until Sunday and I still don't have a picture - it's been a busy weekend. I worked a catering job yesterday and didn't get home until 2:30am. As I was guzzling diet Coke at 12:30am to stay alert I kept reminding myself, Christmas money, Christmas money! Needless to say, I haven't gotten outside to get pumpkin pictures....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Just pics

I love how most people post pictures that go along with their blogs, but I just can never get it together so I figure I'll try and post new pictures every week - just because I like them - no funny story to go along with them.

This is Ella after getting into my makeup. I told her to repeat after me "I don't need makeup, I don't need makeup"...until you're old like mommy!

On a hayride at Merrymead Farm.

The look on her face just cracks me up.

Catherine got a chance to snuggle on the couch with Ella's doggy - probably one of maybe three times she's ever gotten to touch Ella's favorite stuffed animal. Only lasted about 30 seconds before Ella but a stop to it!

Stay tuned for more pictures next week!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

There and Back Again...

No, we didn't go dragon slaying or on any big adventure like that, but we did make our way to Grove City College (mine and Matt's alma mater) for the first time in probably five years. We made the trip to Clearfield on Friday - it always seems to take forever because we usually take a long break for lunch (never intended to be long, but ends up like that - even at McDonalds or Wendy's). We left early the next morning for GCC, leaving the kids behind with my mom and dad because it was supposed to be cold and we figured they would have more fun staying back. Oh, but we almost didn't go at all. Friday night my mom went to the emergency room with some severe back/side pain that she described as "worse than labor". She went through three completely natural births, two of those being breech, and still claims that labor wasn't that bad. So her pain threshhold is highly respected amongst our family and we didn't doubt that something must be wrong. When she went to the hospital (because it was Friday night and her doctor wasn't around) we weren't sure if she would have to stay or not. If she did, we wouldn't subject my dad to the pure joy of watching both Ella and Catherine alone. We were debating taking one of the kids and leaving the other behind so that Matt and I could still play in our lacrosse and soccer alumni games. Basically we ended by being up very late that night waiting to hear what was going on with my mom before we decided. It ended up that she had a very severe UTI and was able to come with some medicine.

So thankfully she was fine and we were able to go with no problem. It was weird to be one of the oldest people playing in the alumni soccer game because I don't feel old at all. I just felt like the girls on the team just look young. Did I look that young in college? Probably. We hadn't been back to GCC since they have built a new student union center, new classrooms and apartments. In some ways it felt so normal to be there but when we visited the newer areas it felt like a totally different campus - no memories of these places, not what I picture when I remember college. It was neat and the new buildings are beautiful and really add to the campus. I can't go back and show my kids where Matt and I would talk between classes before we started dating. I can't go back and sit in the booth at the Gee and remember all the ice cream I used to eat for under a buck. So even though the changes are an improvement I felt a little sad.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I tried to add these pictures to the previous post but it just wouldn't work. Figured it's been awhile since I've posted any pictures of the girls.
This picture they are partaking in their favorite snack - the cheese stick! I love how they sat next to each other on their own - no prompting from mom or dad.

Here is Catherine, so happy that she could get into the grocery bags, find an apple, get it out of the bag and start chomping. I didn't realize until later that she took a tiny bit out of every apple. That's definitely something she learned from Ella.

My messy eater. Often times her food doubles as hair gel. It works suprisingly well!

We went on a hayride today and enjoyed some fall activities - hopefully I'll post some of those pictures later today, tonight, tomorrow....sometime!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


It's been awhile since I put any wise and thoughtful words out into the blog world. And it will be awhile longer. On my mind now are just random thoughts and stories

Microderm abrasion -
My mother in law bought me this cool little home microderm abrasion set. You pop this little spongy thingy on to little plastic thingamabob (looks like a electric razor without any razor) and dip the sponge in this gritty cream stuff (you would think I would know more about the things I'm putting on my face) push the on button and circulate it gently on your face. Good stuff. Last night I used it for the second time. It felt a little different than the time before. Not so soft - in fact it kind of hurt my forehead and afterwards my face was a little red. I tried to pop the sponge off to wash it and it wouldn't come off - I pulled and twisted and it wouldn't budge. Wanna know why? Because I hadn't bothered to attach the sponge at all - I just rubbed a gritty piece of plastic on my face - I can't wait to see how that helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and give my skin a radiant glow!

Doggie doo-doo-
Our dog Goldie runs away all the time. This is a newer development - she used to be very good with boundaries and we never needed a leash. Now she is always on a leash which has become quite a pain for us. It takes her so long to go to the bathroom and she never pees and poops in the same trip. Noooo....she milks as many trips out of it as she can. Today it was raining and Matt took her outside for the second time - about 10 minutes of running back and forth and sniffing and circling - nothing. She wanted to go back outside a few minutes after coming back in. We made her wait to make sure she really had to go. But again, nothing. Keep in mind it's cold and rainy and not fun for any of us to be outside with the dog. An hour and a half later I took the dog outside again. Goldie goes crazy - jumping around, whining, etc - when she needs to go out, so much so that you can't ignore it (plus she's been peeing in the basement, so we really don't ignore her). Yet it's been two hours and she still has not pooped! Again with the running back and forth and sniffing until finally.....success! As Goldie is squatting (sorry TMI) I look up and Matt, Ella and Catherine are all standing on the couch (not Matt, he can see out the window without standing) waving and cheering her on. Has any dog had such a celebrated poo?! I doubt it....

I can't believe I spent so much time writing about my dog.

My kids....
Everyone is healthy again except Catherine's nose is still runny so we follow her around with tissues. She still prefers crawling but stands on her own alot and talks lots of steps. I keep thinking that walking will make her less clingy so I keep praying she gets the hang of it soon. She is the biggest mama's girl ever. Even more so than Ella (perhaps my memory is a bit fuzzy though). Catherine would rather crawl on me, snuggle, give me kisses and be held than play with our toys. Cute, but it does get a bit old. In the last few weeks she started this growly like laugh that Matt and I love. Imagine a "hahaha" but with a growl to it. She has also become a very picky eater, and I don't know how to work with that at this age. I offer her all sorts of things and she isn't interested. Any ideas? We do lots of PB&J, macaroni and cheese, eggs, oatmeal, grilled cheese, any kind of fruit imagineable, avocado. That might be it. She's a jealous little girl - I think it goes along with the whole mama's girl thing. She gets upset when Matt hugs me or snuggles up to me, which he does often just to torment her. If Ella is in my lap (usually because she saw Catherine crawling over to me and ran over and beat her to it...sisterly love at 2 1/2 is something else) Catherine will crawl up onto my lap as well and then try to push Ella away. But she is doing so well when I have to leave her in nurseries for church and Bible study. Such a relief to know she's not screaming while I'm gone.

Ella. I could probably do a separate post on her. What's new with her? Her latest obsession is the movie Madagascar. We watch parts of it twice a day - it is the only thing she ever wants to watch. I really like the movie but I can barely stand to watch it anymore. She gets so excited about it - we have to skip over a few scary scenes - she always laughs when Alex the lion bites Marty the zebra on the butt. Great. The things she says are so funny - becoming very expressive - when I ask if she did something it's "yup, I sure did." Unfortunately that's not often the answer to "did you put your books away" but instead "Did you rub shampoo all over your clothes?". One of her favorite little things is the clean plate dance that Matt will do with her when she eats all her food. No one but Matt can do the clean plate dance. Great bonding time for daddy and daughter. Bedtime prayers are a trip. When I ask who she wants to pray for she thinks that she needs to say her name first. Sometimes she'll go through a list of people and then say "wait I forgot to say Ella first" and then start over. She always prays for Goldie and Pokey (my parent's dog). It goes like this - without fail- "...and Pokey and Goldie...they don't have hands...they have paws....so they can walk." I have no idea where that came from. But she says it every night- now without pausing - just a long run-on thought. Also she had an ear infection a few weeks ago and had to go on antibiotics - you know the bright pink kind! Most kids don't like medicine and parents have to fight to get them to take it. Not my Ella. She loves her pink medicine. She rubs her tummy in delight after she takes it and usually asks for it a couple of times a day. "No, Ella, you cannot have more medicine" Somehow I never anticipated saying that.

I could go on and on and I already have. So that's all for now.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sick and tired...

...of being sick and tired. I live in a sick house. Matt was sick a week and a half ago - then the kids got it. The typical runny nose, sore throat, stuffy head thing. It hits all of us differently. Both the kids have been tired and taking long naps but then waking early in the morning (the last few days we've gotten back to our 8am wake up call). I've been feeling it since Tuesday. Sinus pressure, swollen glands, stuffed up nose. It hasn't been that bad except I still don't feel better and it's been a good five days. I'm used to one or two rough days and then waking up and feeling much better. I'm hopeful that tomorrow will be the day.

Of course I didn't get around to posting this until Monday - I started it on Sunday. Thankfully today I am feeling better. Not up to running yet, but I'll get there.

Also, an update....last Tuesday I decided to get up at 7am and do some stuff around the house before the kids got up. I actually felt good getting up - I always do better when I decide to get out of bed, rather than being forced to by my kids. But throughout the day I started feeling worse and worse and ended up being sick for a week. Hmmm....any connection???? Perhaps I will hold off on those early mornings for the sake of my health :) Seriously, I enjoyed getting up (It was just once I know) and once I start sleeping well again I think I'll start doing it a couple times a week. We'll see how it goes.

So I haven't been blogging much because I haven't had the energy and now I have to go work on my Bible study for tomorrow so my other thoughts will have to wait.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Time to go to bed....

So anyone out there catch the premier of Grey's Anatomy and The Office this week? We are big fans of both shows so Thursday was an exciting night for Matt and myself. I liked both episodes - Grey's Anatomy made me shed a few tears even (Bailey saying sorry to Denny, Christina breaking down with Burke. I wasn't too upset with how things are developing with Jim and Pam on The Office -I'm sure Jim will be back and until then I think it's interesting having him at the other branch. If you watched either let me know what you thought?

So I really like to sleep. More specifically, I like to sleep in the morning. I hate hate hate to get out of bed in the morning. Even when my kids get up they come in bed and play around until I can drag myself up. I've been thinking for awhile how nice it would be if I could....here comes a really novel idea....get up before my kids do. I could get up at 7am and have an hour (usually) to either, clean, run, read my Bible...a whole extra hour in my day. But the thought of getting up at 7am just kills me. It goes against everything I hold dear - that one extra hour of sleep is so special to me. But I'm going to try. I'm going to try because I don't want to be a slave to sleep.

This is so hard for me to write because if I put it out their in the blog world then there is some small level of accountability. I'm not asking you to keep me accountable (please don't, I might get mad at you because I'm grumpy from lack of sleep) but just knowing that others know will hopefully be a motivation. I'm not sure when my first try will be. I'll keep you all posted. I was initially thinking tomorrow but I'm tiiiired. Ella has been waking in the middle of the night and running to the bathroom. So when I hear her door open and her little feet pitter pattering down the hall I am immediately awake. Then there is the other problem of going to bed at a decent time. See right now Matt and I are watching a movie - The Inside Man - and it won't be over by 11. We said we'd only start it but now it's getting intense and I don't think either of us are going to want to stop it before it's over. So I'll be up late....and then I definitely won't want to get up early. And then I have a meeting tomorrow night so I'll have alot to do at night and I won't want to go to bed early....it's a vicious cycle.

So I'll try and keep you updated. I'd definitely appreciate any encouragement and advice from anyone who has dealt with this. Especially if you are not a morning person.

Other things....
Matt and I watched United 93 this weekend. It was very good. Very hard to watch and very powerful. Even though you know the end of the story you'll find yourself hoping, praying that it might end differently. It doesn't try to be sentimental or overdramatic so you don't feel manipulated. I'm curious if any of you have seen it?

Also if any of you are fans of bananas check out the link on the right to Crafty Pumpkin's blog. Christina posted some recipes that look really really yummy. I think I'm going to make the banana oatmeal cookies sometime this week.

Ok, bedtime....

Monday, September 18, 2006

The List

Ok, so I've been meaning to put up a list of my confessions. These are confessions for the sake of making my self known and being vulnerable with my friends. Of course now that I sit down to type this I am really drawing a mental blank.

10. Most people would rather play online, read or watch tv rather than clean their house - I actually do.
9. This one is painful... I had a drawer FULL of wedding thank you notes that I wrote and addressed but never sent. There were also tons of pictures that were supposed to be mailed with the notes. They never got sent. I packed them in a garbage bag and threw them all away a year or so ago because I felt bad everytime I looked in the drawer. My wedding was seven years ago. It will be at least another seven years before I could let my mom know and pray that we could all have a good laugh over it...
8. If you read this you know this already, but I don't shower as much as I should. I would rather do other things with my time and deodorant works wonders.
7. I waste so much food because my fridge is too full and stuff gets hidden and then goes bad. I mean people are going hungry around the world I throw away whole packets of lettuce.
6. Sometimes (and by sometimes I mean alot of times) I don't want to be around Ella. I feel so guilty for it but she just whines so much and doesn't listen and is always fighting something. I love her so much but I don't always like her. I hate to put that out there because she is a beautiful child in so many ways but she is strong willed and stubborn and in a difficult stage.
5. I hate conflict so much that I will lie to avoid it. I don't know if it's the conflict that I hate as much as the potential outcome of the conflict (someone being mad at me or keeping things from me in the future).
4. I still get embarassed by my parents. Not often, but I occassionally get embarassed and act and feel like a teenager.
3. I am honestly insecure about my weight and how I look but I'm convinced that other people aren't because I think they look fine. Does that make sense? I can go on and on about the weight I need to lose and blah blah blah but when others do it I get annoyed because I can't figure out why would think that about themselves because they look good.
2. I do my weekly Bible Study half heartedly because sometimes I feel like it's busy work (lot of time spent looking up various verses, definitions, etc...) and I would rather just skip that and go to the applications...
1. I am envious of most people I know. I need to focus on being content in what God has given me and where He has put me but I often find myself dwelling on what is lacking in my life rather than giving thanks for how full it is. So I look at people that seem to have it better and easier (not just in a money sense) and want what they have.

Ok - so those weren't in any particular order and I really don' t know if I can publish this. I don't think there is anything that earth shattering but as I said before it's hard for me to be vulnerable. I hope you all still love me but I know that I can't worry about whether you do or don't (but I really hope you do :) - this honesty thing is the stuff of true friendships).

Over and out.....go Steelers!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Throughout the day I think about so many things that I want to blog about - it's like a running commentary in my head. And then 8:30 rolls around. And I sit on the couch and look at the mess that surrounds me. And then I procrastinate by picking up my laptop and spend way too much time reading other people's blogs and checking my blockbuster queue. I finally decide that perhaps I'll post something and then I have to remember what the heck I actually thought about five hours ago that was worth posting online.....

Something I was thinking about today was confessions. I happened upon a blog where a mom listed ten confessions - mostly about parenting and personal flaws/habits - things you don't want to admit, but when you do you find that alot of people can relate with what you've admitted. So of course I started thinking about what my confessions would be and as I do the thought pops in my head "I couldn't include that... so and so would think badly of me/look at me differently." I have always struggled with the fear of rejection and on the flip side of that I always desire to be liked and accepted. Who doesn't to some extent? But I think that I often allow those fears and desires to change who I am. To some people I might be willing to share my dirty laundry because I know that they probably match me with their own! With others, so many people that seem kinder, more virtuous, more attentive to their children, better housekeepers, more spiritual, more disciplined, I tend to edit myself and perhaps not reveal who I am and what I struggle with and how often I clean the bathroom. :) With a blog you can't control who reads it so I either edit myself for everyone, or allow everyone see "the good, the bad, and the ugly" (stolen from Clint Eastwood and the women who's blog I read earlier). It's silly and I know that God doesn't want me to be fearful of other's rejection or acceptance. I know that His desire is that I would worry less about what people thought of me and instead bring my flawed, internet obsessed, dirty house, lazy, selfish, lack of discipline-d self before His feet and just rest in His love.

All that over a silly list of confessions. I mean it shouldn't be hard to admit that I only shower when I really need to (ouch, that was tough to write and I'm being vague enough to let you draw your own conclusions.) and that when I was in a weekly women's Bible study I would cram a whole week's worth of lessons into the night before (well, I did have a 20 month old and a newborn last year - not sure about my excuse when it happens again this year!) or that sometimes I sit and read a book while my kids play around me because I don't feel like playing. After typing these I want to delete them because I don't want my friends thinking I am less of a Christian or stinky (OK, sometimes I'm stinky!), or a bad mother. But I'll be brave and I'll post this. And maybe in a few days I'll be braver and post some more confessions - and maybe some of you will too....

Saturday, September 09, 2006

More than just cake!

I figured I should post a picture of the birthday girl and not just the cake! Poor Catherine is always such a happy baby and of course the night before her party she was feeling a little warm and then was just feeling crummy on the big day. So she didn't get to enjoy her party as much as I would have liked, but Ella did have fun "helping" her open the gifts and quickly claiming them as her own (Ella went as far as asking for certain new toys to be put away so "sis sis" couldn't get them). But Catherine not feeling well really wasn't our biggest problem - our biggest problem was that we lost power in the middle of the night (Thanks to Ernesto) on Friday and weren't sure if it was going to be restored until Sunday. We decided to go ahead with the party regardless and hope for the best. But this meant that I couldn't do any prep work with the food ahead of time because I didn't want to be opening and closing the fridge too much. Oh yeah - and no showers - which I had put off in hopes of running on the treadmill Saturday morning (no run either of course). But God was good and we got our power back 30 minutes before the party started so at least we weren't in the dark and I got a speed shower.

Anyway - here is a picture of Catherine after we brought her down. That's her friend Nolan looking on, wondering what the heck is going
on- he looks a little amused, doesn't he?

She did perk up through the rest of the night as the following picture shows. As soon as she had some ribbon and paper to play with. Overall it was a nice relaxing night - I can't believe I just described a one year old's birthday party as relaxing!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And eat it too...

Catherine's 1st birthday party was this past Saturday - only two weeks after her actual birthday, not too bad. I decided late in the week that I was going to make her birthday cake and went out and bought some cake making supplies (This started because I wanted to save money and not buy a cake - yeah right!). I decided to start simple -I bought a flower shaped cake pan (figured it could be used again for other celebrations) and a few tips to help with the decoration. I was surprised by how fun it was and not as complicated (remember, I went simple) as I thought it might be. So I had to post a picture of the finished product...

I have to say it was one darn tasty cake. I used Wilton's buttercream icing recipe and a Betty Crocker yellow cake mix. Definitely better (if not cheaper after buying the pan and stuff) than a store cake!

Good lookin' bunch...

This is a picture from a few weeks ago at a reunion with all my Grove City (college) friends. We've gotten together every year since graduation and this year we had 17 adults (Karen's - bottom row on the right - husband has a few weeks left before he comes home from almost a year in Iraq) and eleven kids. I just had to put up a picture of my beautiful friends and their beautiful daughters (Catherine was napping :( ). Love you guys!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Love Legos....

I do, I really do. I guess I should say I really really really like legos since I've been trying to teach Ella about loving people and not things. This is hard because there are some "things" that she really really likes. We're also working on praying for people and not things. She tries to trick me sometimes and adds, toys or bike to her prayers and then recants, saying "no toys, no bikes". But I've decided we can pray for dogs (she loves to pray for our dog Goldie and my parents dog Pokie). Anyway, back to the topic at hand...legos. Ella got a farm set of the duplo legos (the in between size - too big to swallow, but small enough to be able to build with at a young age) for her 2nd birthday. She enjoyed playing with them from time to time but it was a small set and there wasn't too much you could do with it beyond the basics. My mother (who has sazed almost every toy that we grew up with) has a great collection of legos that she brought along on vacation with her. I realized that after dumping the entire box out the kids were occupied for a good amount of time. When we got home we bought a decent size set with a gift certificate and that's all Catherine and Ella want to play with. Oh yeah, and Matt too. Now we have enough that Catherine can destroy the little things we build for her while Ella still can be building some massive structure. I really love seeing her imagination at work - she builds stairs and gates and farms and towers - all sorts of structures that only slightly resemble what she calls them. But it's a great activity that keeps both girls active and entertained as well as Matt and myself. An added bonus is the plastic bin they came in for easy cleanup. I am in heaven!

Well I should go work on not equating heaven to earthly things such as plastic blocks....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Book Tag

Ok, so I got tagged by my sister in law, Chrissie - and I am so new to this whole blog world that I had to ask her what to do. Basically you copy and paste the questions onto your blog and then "tag" the people that you want to respond on their blogs. But they have to find it themselves....a blog version of a forward! I know this is basic to most bloggers, but again, me and most of my friends are new at this.

This is hard for me because it's all about books and I read so many books that I really can't keep them straight. I read books that I love, hate, mildly enjoy, struggle to get through, etc. All types of genres - mostly fiction and "Christian living".
1. One book that changed your life: The Bible - the only book that really can
2. One book that you’ve read more than once - I've read so many more than once but I usually read Francine Rivers' "Redeeming Love" at least every few years.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island - the Bible
4. One book that made you laugh - off the top of my head "Little Earthquakes" by Jennifer Weiner.
5. One book that made you cry - Mrs. Mike (one of my all time favs)
6. One book that you wish had been written - I'll tell you when I read it.
7. One book that you wish had never been written - I can't remember names but I have read books that should have never been published.
8. One book you’re currently reading - just finished the Breakdown Lane by Jacquelyn Mitchard
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read - Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
10. Now tag five people:

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Frustrations in Parenting

The morning didn't start out too bad. Breakfast was good and I was actually able to run a comb through Ella's hair and pull it back before we left to go to a brunch with some women that I was in a Bible study with last year. There were alot of kids there - kids that Ella has played with and was very excited to see. But it ended up being a morning full of lots of whining and her being too timid to do much. Of course there were moments when Ella had fun - usually involving eating or chasing Catherine (who was having lots of fun). When I had to move the van to let someone leave Ella had to come with me so I just put her in the carseat and she sat in the car until I went back and gathered up my things, got Catherine and said good-bye to everyone - which took 10 minutes. And she was happier just sitting out there! Why? She is usually a pretty social little creature but lately she's been shying away and wanting my or Matt to play with her and getting whiny when we don't.

Then she decided she didn't want to take a nap and kept running to her door and opening it and crying and then running back to bed. Of couse being very loud the whole time to increase the chances of Catherine waking up. I had to go up about four times and put her back in her bed and tell her that she had to have quiet time if she wasn't going to nap. Finally it seemed like she was going to settle down and go to sleep. FINALLY I am going to get some work done and maybe some time to myself. 15-20 minutes pass and I'm feeling pretty good. But wouldn't you know it a storm rules in bringing along some loud thunder boomers (Ella's name). I was in the kitchen when I heard a yell and I knew that it was Ella. I found her upstairs sitting up in her bed with her blanket over her head, crying. She was upset and said "the thunderboomers were so so sad". I knew what she meant! :) In that moment all the frustrations of the day were gone and I just laid in bed with her and held her close - glad to be able to comfort her.

Now the rest of the day was still frustrating - Ella decided to pee on the potty while wearing her underwear - on purpose. But it was nice to have a moment to realize that as much as she drives me crazy she's just a little girl who needs her mommy to keep her safe.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Big girl bed...

That is the new thing in our household. We finally moved Ella out of her crib and into a twin bed. I actually bought the comforter for her twin bed a year ago because I wanted to paint and pick out accessories for her room but wasn't ready to switch her from a crib - I didn't want to have to worry about her sleeping changing as well as deal with a newborn. So we finally got down an old twin bed and mattress from the attic and set it up in her room. She was so excited - especially because it was the bed that her daddy slept in when he was little! Of course she was so wired that she had a lot of troubling winding down for bed. I think it was around 9pm (starting at 8) that she stopped calling for us (1st to get her special Curious George book to have in bed, then to turn on the lights so she could read- not gonna happen!) and settled in for the night. It's such a weird feeling to see her in that "big" little bed. She seems so grown up that it makes my heart ache a bit. No more diapers, no more crib - big aspects of babyhood are being left behind this summer.

I think someone is awake upstairs which is pretty unusual for my girls so I'll have to stop my sappiness and go check!

Thanks for checking in....

The 4400

Ok I know it sounds like all I do is watch TV because I like posting about shows I like - but I am the type of person who likes to share something I enjoy. Matt and I are about halfway through the second season of The 4400 and it is so cool. It keeps throwing us for loops but still answers enough questions that you don't feel lost (like you might when watching "Lost"). I highly advise picking up Season 1 at your local blockbuster or renting it online.

Monday, August 21, 2006

More Dance

So I finally got to watch the finale of So You Think You Can Dance - a couple of days late because I was on vacation and it was DVR'd at home. It's so nice being able to skip through all the stuff you don't want to watch. I loved all the dances. Aside from the Natalie Dimitry dance they were all ones I would have wanted to see again. I especially loved the Wade Robson group dance - definitely the coolest. I already knew that Benji won because I looked online (kind of figured...) My sister in law and brother were at our house Saturday night and I made them watch with me. My SIL was hooked after watching the dances and will hopefully watch next year. Anyway, here is a link to a good interview with Benji by another blogger. I think from that interview you can link to another one where he talks about possibly passing on the Celin Dion contract.



Sunday, August 20, 2006

Back to the Real World

We just got back from a week long vacation with my family at Ocean City NJ. It was a great week - beautiful weather, beautiful place, time with family. It was Catherine's first time at the beach and she enjoyed it so much more than I thought she would. There were a number of times we had to grab her back before she was covered by a wave.
Here are some pictures from our trip....

Ella on her first merry-go-round ride. That was the tamest ride she went on....

Catherine and me on the beach- I actually don't want to post this but am having trouble deleting it and just want to publish this and go to bed...peace...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Irrational Fears

That's what we're dealing with currently. Ella has developed some big time fears that really make no sense....
1. People dressed up like animals
OK I can understand that a bit - a giant walking talking cow might be a bit scary (Chick-fil-A), but why be scared of a giant life sized Twinkie giving out free Swiss Cake Rolls? Both resulted in major freak outs from Ella - tears, trembling, yelling. If she didn't like Chick-fil-A nuggets and playroom so much I don't know if we would ever be able to go there again.
2. People with tattoos
This is a new one - she's seen tattoos before but we were getting ready to leave a restaurant last week and she saw an older man with long white hair covered in tattoos. He was a bit odd looking but not really because of his tattoos - but of course that's what stood out to her. I was hoping it was a fluke but she saw a woman the next day with tattoos and was scared again.
3. Cement trucks
I hope it's not all trucks - this one reared it's ugly head today at the park when a cement truck pulled about 30 feet away to do something. That was it for our picnic - Ella had to sit on my lap and pulled my arms around her tightly. Then she wouldn't walk back to the car so I had to push her in the stroller while carrying Catherine and our bag of stuff. So I'm praying that she was just in a weird mood. I don't think we can avoid trucks.

Now that I got that out of my system I need to focus on So You Think You Can Dance.

So You Think You Can Dance

Tonight is the final of SYTYCD - the only reality show that I watch at all. I never watch voting shows because I inevitably get frustrated because people get voted off before they should. So last week I actually voted for the first time ever in a reality show. And it worked- the people I voted for stayed! I have a voice!

Who do you think will win? Let me know.... I tend to be a fan of Benji's - he's excelled in every style that's he's done. I like Travis but I really don't think he's as versatile as Benji. Also Benji has four years on Travis - it's his time!

I probably should be playing with Ella right now. Gotta go

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Family Picture

Here's a picture of the whole family about a month ago. My parents were taking the picture and trying to get the kids to smile. Of course my mom was standing a couple feet to the side of my dad so this is the closest we got to all looking in relatively the same direction.

Free Cell

They say the first step towards recovery is knowing you have a problem. Well...I'm addicted to free cell. You know the game on your computer you probably never play. Well I probably play it at the very least 50 times a day. Once I had a winning streak of over 100 games. Try it sometime.....it'll hook you in....

What I'm watching

Matt and I just finished watching the first disk of the second season of The 4400. It's a series that runs on USA and is now on it's third season. It's pretty cool - a bit sci-fi for some though. Of course each disk is a separate rental so it feels like a season ending cliff hanger.

I just finished reading The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. Very easy read that will make you think and rethink what you believe about faith, social activism, the Church and much more. Might be tempting to toss it out if it offends you but read to the end because I feel like you really get a sense of his heart and his mission.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Ok, so I only started this thing about 12 hours ago. And I already forgot my user name, member name, screen name....all of it! After 15 minutes of searching and getting very close to starting over I finally got it - don't ask me what it is now because it's almost 11pm and I tried so many combinations of user name/password that I really don't know which one worked. That's what having two kids 20 months apart will do to your brain. :)

On another note I just finished watching some episodes of season one Veronica Mars. It's one of my favorite shows and I have three of my friends hooked on it so we're watching the first season in order to try and get caught up to season 3 by Oct.

That's it for now - I need to be sleeping...

Here is a recent picture of Ella (2 1/2) and Catherine (almost 1 year).

This is my first post here - just trying it out and figuring out how things work. But I actually need to finish cleaning my kitchen! So long for now....

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